Monday, 31 October 2016
For anyone wondering if my new 'teach myself to draw' hobby is leading me away from teddy bears ... take a little peek below!
'Ted E. Bear'
'A Trio of Teds'
They are still very much 'work-in-progress' and I can see plenty I need to improve on, but as you can see, this bear maker has been having fun sketching a few teddies, as well as making them!
Friday, 28 October 2016
It's almost time for Halloween, a spooktastic time for teddy bear design! This year I have decided to create a clown teddy bear in magical purple and grey mohair, but rather than an being overtly Halloween ted, I prefer to think he is a lovely bear to be displayed and loved, all year round!
This super teddy bear has just made his way to my website, so if you would like to know a little more about him, please pop along to:
Wishing you all a safe and fun Happy Halloween 2016!
Update: Cobweb has been adopted and will be living in the UK!
Friday, 21 October 2016
Well, well, well, would you believe it ... after my earlier post about the true value of creative life outside the mainstream workforce, I have just received an email announcing the result of this year's 'Excellence in Bear Artistry' awards and as if to lend validation to my point, (not to mention my creative worth!) both my 2016 entries have been honoured with 'Judges Choice' Awards ... I couldn't be more thrilled!
Now the panel of judges has allotted final category awards, their selections will be put forward for public vote to determine the overall competition winner. Voting will be invited on the competition website shortly, so if you would like to choose your 'Excellence in Bear Artistry Award' winner for 2016, please visit the website below in a few days' time when the voting goes live!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been attempting to teach myself to draw. It has not been an easy process as this skill is far from natural to me, but I think I am at last beginning to conquer a few of my artistic demons!
I am gradually building a scrapbook to record my progress ...
It is fun to try different mediums and I am slowly finding confidence to build on my new skills. Who knows, I may even try my hand at painting eventually!
I thought I'd share a few of my drawing projects here today.
I was thinking about all the different skills I have taught myself over the years, from designing teddy bears, to photography, making cloth dolls, knitting, crocheting, computer skills, website building, dog obedience training, running my business, driving (that was a biggy!) ... the list goes on, so whenever I feel a bit as though a 'proper career' in the 'real world' has slipped through my fingers, I take a moment to remind myself of everything I have taught myself over the years.
For those of us who work creatively, the nag of not being part of the 'serious working world' can bite now and again, but the skills we have developed while living a creative life are worth remembering and taking a little pride in now and again ... don't you agree?!
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Once in a while, even the nicest of teddy bears doesn't quite fly off the shelf. There's no rhyme or reason, it's just a case of his special someone perhaps not being aware of him, or ready to adopt, or even in the right place, at the right time. I made Scrumpy only a few weeks ago, so he hasn't been waiting long, but he is starting to look a little lonely, so this week, I have decided to give him a turn at auction, in an attempt to do my very best to find his VIP (Very Important Person!)
If that person could be you, please click the link below to visit Scrumpy on Ebay!
Visit Scrumpy on Ebay
Thank you from me ... and from Scrumpy too.
Update: Scrumpy has been adopted via the All Bear website!
For 30 years, Glenn and Irene Jackman, organisers of our much loved 'Hugglets Festivals', have painstakingly created this fabulous guide to teddy bear businesses, both in the UK and around the world. The Guide not only offers a valuable resource to anyone with an interest in collecting, selling or creating teddy bears, it is also a fascinating history of teddy bear artistry throughout the past three decades.
Having my bear 'Chester' featured on the cover of the Guide back in 2014, was one of my proudest moments, so I know first-hand how excited lovely Dawn Jellis-Jones of 'The Old Post Office Bears' will be to have had her super antique style bear, gracing this 30th edition cover as it is such an honour in the teddy bear world! Huge congratulations to you Dawn!
Wonderful new bear artists have joined our ranks over the years, but sadly, some slipped quietly away. Someone much missed this year, is our lovely Sandra Hobbs, creator of the adorable 'Sally Anne Bears'. May you sleep tight Sandra ... you and your beautiful teddy bears, will be forever remembered.
This year, the Guide features a special mention for one of the loveliest bear makers in the business, Pamela Ann Howells. Pam is the longest standing UK bear artist, first working with the famous Chiltern Hygenic Toy Company back in the 1950's. She is celebrating 60 years of teddy bear making - an outstanding achievement!
Many thanks to Glenn and Irene Jackman, for giving us thirty years of Hugglets. We, your bear artists, salute you.
The UK Teddy Bear Guide's official publication is the 27th October 2016, but you can order a copy from the Hugglets website now, by visiting the link below:
Monday, 10 October 2016
Today is my Grandson's 2nd birthday!
Two years packed with laughter, fun, colour and cuddles. This cheeky, inquisitive, determined, fun-loving little lad, makes my world turn. Being his Nana is such a joy!
Happy Birthday to you Toby,
with oodles and noodles of love today and all the other days.
From your very, very, very, proud Nana ... who, by the way, loves you all the way to the moon and back again!
Friday, 7 October 2016
I was just about to tell you about my latest teddy bear 'Barleycorn', who I released onto my website only moments ago, when my Iphone buzzed to tell me he had been adopted. Huge thanks to the power of the World Wide Web!
14" Barleycorn has been adopted
So this introduction is also now a goodbye and 'bon voyage' to little Barleycorn, who will be flying to Singapore to meet his new owner shortly.
It made me ponder, how did we bearmakers ever find new homes for our creations before the WWW?! The plain truth is, it may well have been a more complicated marketing process back then, but in the days before the birth of internet websites, our teddy bears still managed to travel far and wide to find new owners around the globe. Teddy bears and their makers have always been a most resourceful bunch it would seem!
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
I'm so torn with this lovely bear, should I dress him for the Autumn weather and cover his beautiful Schulte kid mohair, or should I simply leave him 'nekkid' and show off that glorious fur? It's a bit of a dress dilemma, I can't make up my mind!
So, here are the photos of him 'au naturele', showing off his gloriously silky fur.
And here, the pics of him cosy in hand knitted hat 'n scarf ...
He's a very handsome bear and I must admit, I like both looks ...
I wonder, which do you prefer?
'Scrumpy' is currently waiting patiently for his 'special someone'. He has requested a cosy home, friends to chat with and if at all possible, a comfy seat beside a window, so he can sit and watch the Autumn leaves falling ...
Fingers and toes are crossed for you Scrumpy!
If you would like to know a little more about Scrumpy, please visit my website on the link below. Thank you!
Monday, 3 October 2016
If you have been reading my blog for a few years, you may remember that each Autumn, my sister Fiona and I, like to gather together our families and dogs, for a good long tromp through the beautiful Knole Park deer park estate in Sevenoaks.
Yesterday was a perfect Sunday for our family tromp, the sun shone, the deer were having a fine time chasing through trees and snuffling for chestnuts, it was surprisingly warm for the time of year and everyone was in excellent spirits! We enjoyed a long walk around the perimeter of the estate, snapping photos and chatting as we strolled. To conclude our lovely afternoon, we purchased a round of hot drinks at the newly refurbished cafe and took them out to the grounds to sup in the open grassland ... perfick!